SARS-CoV-2 Spread, Detection, and Dynamics in a Megacity in Latin America

41 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2021

See all articles by Rachid Laajaj

Rachid Laajaj

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

Camilo De Los Rios Rueda

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Ignacio Sarmiento-Barbieri

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Danilo Aristizabal

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

Eduardo Behrentz

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

Raquel Bernal

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

Giancarlo Buitrago

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

Zulma M. Cucunubá

Imperial College London - MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis

Fernando de la Hoz

National University of Colombia

Alejandro Gaviria Uribe

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

Luis Jorge Hernández Florez

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

Leonardo León Nuñez

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

Diane Moyano

Ministry of Health and Social Protection, Bogota

Elkin Osorio

Ministry of Health and Social Protection, Bogota

Andrea Ramirez Varela

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - School of Medicine

Silvia Restrepo

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

Rodrigo Rodriguez

Ministry of Health and Social Protection, Bogota

Norbert Schady

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Martha Vives Florez

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

Duncan Webb

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Date Written: April 7, 2021

Abstract

In many developing countries, the COVID-19 pandemic has spread much faster and wider than the number of detected cases implies. By combining data from 59,770 RT-PCR tests on mostly asymptomatic individuals with administrative data on all detected cases, we capture the spread and dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic in Bogotá from June 2020 to early March 2021. Our data provide unusually broad and detailed information on mostly asymptomatic adults in Bogotá, allowing to describe various features of the pandemic that appear to be specific to a developing country context. We find that, by the end of March 2021, slightly more than half of the population in Bogotá has been infected, despite only a small fraction of this population being detected. In July 2020, after four months of generalized quarantine that mitigated the pandemic without curving it, the initial buildup of immunity contributed to the end of the first wave. We also show that the share of the population infected by February 2021 varies widely by occupation, socio-economic stratum, and location. This, in turn, has affected the dynamics of the spread: while the first wave of infections was driven by the lowest economic strata and highly-exposed occupations, the second peak affected the population more evenly. A better understanding of the spread and dynamics of the pandemic across different groups provides valuable guidance for efficient targeting of health policy measures and restrictions.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, CoVIDA, Latin America

JEL Classification: I14, I15, I18, O54

Suggested Citation

Laajaj, Rachid and De Los Rios Rueda, Camilo and Sarmiento-Barbieri, Ignacio and Aristizabal, Danilo and Behrentz, Eduardo and Bernal, Raquel and Buitrago, Giancarlo and Cucunubá, Zulma M. and de la Hoz, Fernando and Gaviria Uribe, Alejandro and Hernández Florez, Luis Jorge and León Nuñez, Leonardo and Moyano, Diane and Osorio, Elkin and Ramirez Varela, Andrea and Restrepo, Silvia and Rodriguez, Rodrigo and Schady, Norbert and Vives Florez, Martha and Webb, Duncan, SARS-CoV-2 Spread, Detection, and Dynamics in a Megacity in Latin America (April 7, 2021). Documento CEDE No. 18, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3822625 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3822625

Rachid Laajaj (Contact Author)

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

Camilo De Los Rios Rueda

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Ignacio Sarmiento-Barbieri

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

HOME PAGE: http://https://ignaciomsarmiento.github.io/

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

Urbana-Champaign, IL
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.illinois.edu/~ignacio

Danilo Aristizabal

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia ( email )

Carrera Primera # 18A-12
Bogota, DC D.C. 110311
Colombia

Eduardo Behrentz

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia ( email )

Carrera Primera # 18A-12
Bogota, DC D.C. 110311
Colombia

Raquel Bernal

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

Giancarlo Buitrago

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

Zulma M. Cucunubá

Imperial College London - MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Fernando De la Hoz

National University of Colombia ( email )

Carrera 30 45-03
Bogota, None
Colombia

Alejandro Gaviria Uribe

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

Luis Jorge Hernández Florez

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia ( email )

Carrera Primera # 18A-12
Bogota, DC D.C. 110311
Colombia

Leonardo León Nuñez

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia ( email )

Carrera Primera # 18A-12
Bogota, DC D.C. 110311
Colombia

Diane Moyano

Ministry of Health and Social Protection, Bogota ( email )

Colombia

Elkin Osorio

Ministry of Health and Social Protection, Bogota ( email )

Colombia

Andrea Ramirez Varela

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - School of Medicine ( email )

Cra 7 #116-05
Bogotá, 11001000
Colombia

Silvia Restrepo

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia ( email )

Carrera Primera # 18A-12
Bogota, DC D.C. 110311
Colombia

Rodrigo Rodriguez

Ministry of Health and Social Protection, Bogota ( email )

Colombia

Norbert Schady

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Martha Vives Florez

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia ( email )

Carrera Primera # 18A-12
Bogota, DC D.C. 110311
Colombia

Duncan Webb

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

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